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Hugo Boss fined £1.2 million after Death of Four Year Old

September 7, 2015
Health and Safety

Fashion Company Hugo Boss, have been fined £1.2 million following the death of four year old Austen Harrison, at their Bicester Village outlet store. Oxford Crown Court heard that Austen died of irreversible brain damage after being crushed by a 114kg unsecured mirror in a changing room at the store.

The company admitted failing to discharge a duty under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and a breach of Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The case had originally been heard at Banbury Magistrates Court on June 2nd when Cherwell District Council, who brought the prosecution to court, successfully argued that the maximum fine of £20,000 applicable to action in the court was inappropriate for a case of this nature. Proceedings were subsequently moved to Oxford Crown Court where the recommended starting point of £100,000 per offence could be imposed.

In passing sentence, Judge Peter Ross said “it would have been obvious to the untrained eye that the mirror posed a risk, it was nothing short of a miracle that it had not fallen before.” Earlier this year, coroner Darren Salter had called the incident ‘an accident waiting to happen,’ before an inquest jury unanimously agreed that the mirror should have been secured to a reinforced wall.